He said he is sure Williams and the athletic department as a whole knew "100 percent" about the paper class system.
"I mean, you have to know about the education of your players and ... who's eligible, who's not and ... who goes to this class and missing that class. We had to run sprints for missing classes if we got caught, so you know, they were very aware of what was going on."
Former Tar Heels player Sean May, who said he received his degree in 2009, disagreed that the McCants' experience was the norm for players. He said he met with Wainstein, the investigator, last month.
"I hate people calling it paper classes," May said. "It makes it seem like we didn't do anything. I know work was done. I had to write 25-page papers for independent study."
May said he'd met with a number of teammates in anticipation of the story running, and talked about a statement he said was reflective of the views of teammates on the 2005 championship team other than McCants.
"By no means does what Rashad said reflect our views and experiences about North Carolina," May said. "We knew that something was coming out. But in a million years, we didn't think this was it. It's unfortunate."
The statement released to ESPN said that the players attended class and did their own academic work. It also said: "We also want to make it clear that Coach Williams and his staff operated with the highest level of ethics and integrity within their respective roles."
"Outside the Lines" tried repeatedly to reach May for an interview over the past several weeks. Through a spokesperson at his charitable foundation, he declined to comment. Several players, who May on Friday says he met with, also were contacted by "Outside the Lines," and they either declined to comment or did not respond to interview requests.
In a statement released late Friday, Wainstein said: " We have interviewed or attempted to interview a number of current and former UNC student athletes and we have received valuable insights and information from those who have agreed to speak with us. We would welcome the opportunity to speak to Mr. McCants or anybody else who can shed light on the issues we are investigating."
McCants left UNC after his third year and played four seasons in the NBA, before moving to play overseas. In the 90-minute "Outside the Lines" interview last month, McCants said he is planning to write a book about his basketball and collegiate experience.
McCants played as a freshman for coach Matt Doherty, who resigned under pressure and was succeeded by Williams in April 2003. McCants led the ACC in scoring his sophomore year and was the second-leading scorer his junior year as the Tar Heels won the national title. Still, he was often described as mercurial and enigmatic. In one local TV interview that ended up drawing national media coverage, McCants angered the basketball program's fans by equating UNC with being in jail: "You're not allowed to do certain things, you're not allowed to say certain things." He later said his statements were misinterpreted.